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Journal Club: An innovative teaching practice to foster peer connection & enhance information literacy

Faculty Advisor




information literacy, nursing students, Information Literacy Self-Efficacy Scale

Abstract (summary)

Information literacy (IL) involves a set of abilities essential for higher education learners, such as the ability to identify, critically evaluate, understand, and apply scholarly literature (ACRL, 2013,, yet studies often demonstrate that these IL skills are lacking and need further development (Bury, 2016; Saunders, 2012). Traditional methods of addressing this need center around stand-alone librarian-led IL sessions, which cannot provide the time or space needed to develop critical reading and reflection practices. Within our context of nursing this is a common challenge, one study found that 40% of second year nursing students have difficulty reading journal articles (Chaudoir et al., 2016), this despite IL being an essential skill for nursing practice (Mitchell & Pereira-Edwards, 2022). In an attempt to address learner needs a course instructor and librarian teamed up. Journal clubs, used in practice settings to maintain currency and promote EBP behavior (Wilson et al., 2015), have been used successfully in other health education contexts (Steenbeek, et al., 2009; Szucs, et al., 2017; Thompson, 2006). This application is referred to as evidence based practice (EBP), and is an essential component of nursing practice. Having activities for undergraduate nursing students that instill EBP aims to ensure that it will be incorporated into practice after graduation (Mitchell & Pereira-Edwards, 2022). Instead of the traditional librarian-led IL sessions, a first year nursing course was redesigned to utilize a guided journal club approach with an aim of enhancing the ability to seek, read, and interpret journal literature. Journal club activities took place over 8 weeks, alternating guided activities with brief IL lessons, and culminating in a group journal club assignment. Students were placed in small groups based on an area of practice they wanted to learn more about. Activities were scaffolded starting with introducing a research database and basic literature searching strategies. As students progressed through the journal club activities throughout the term, they were asked to find articles related to specific topics aligned with the course and their area of practice, critique and present their article to their group members, and then how to apply their interpretations. A survey was used to measure the impact of journal club on student IL self-efficacy, as measured through the validated Information Literacy Self-Efficacy Scale (ILSES) developed by Kurbanoglu et al. (2006). Initial findings support journal club as an effective modality to enhance students self-efficacy in specific areas of IL. Additionally, other valuable outcomes of this strategy were discovered, for example, students reported becoming more comfortable collaborating with peers and anecdotal reports showed students developed friendships with peers. This scaffolded journal club approach to discipline-specific IL learning would translate well to other contexts, particularly those which require a significant grounding in reading and understanding disciplinary research. The journal club activities are available at:

Publication Information

Croxen, H., Nelson, J., & McKendrick-Calder, L. (2022, November 3). Journal Club: An innovative teaching practice to foster peer connection & enhance information literacy. Poster presented at ISSOTL 2022, Kelowna, BC.



Presented on November 3, 2022 at ISSOTL22 hosted by the University of British Columbia in Syilx Okanagan Nation, Kelowna, BC.

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